An SUV alternative for the non-conformist, the Outback wagon is roomy, functional, and appeals to the practical-minded buyer. It rides very comfortably, with secure handling. Standard AWD delivers reassuring traction in wintry conditions. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder returns 24 mpg overall, and drives through a standard continuously variable transmission. Opting for the 3.6-liter six-cylinder makes the car quicker, quieter, and thirstier, conceding 2 mpg. The controls are all easy-to-use, including the touch-screen infotainment system. The wagon's generous rear seat is roomy enough for three adults. The generous cargo area has more room than a comparable Forester or Toyota RAV4, with a lower loading height to boot. The affordable EyeSight safety suite adds blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision warning with automatic braking.